Blogging helps your website’s SEO ranking by allowing you to add more content, and more readable text, to your website. Meaning, you’re likely adding more commonly-searched keywords with each blog. The more keywords you post, the more likely your website is to show up towards the top of Google search results, because it will categorize your website as having a reliable and accurate response to the searched question.
In general, blogging with a goal to share your knowledge and build authority is a great place to start. However, there are a few key SEO-optimization techniques that, when incorporated into your blog, will help your website rank even higher for relevant Google searches.
SEO can be a confusing topic to master, which is why we’re breaking down everything you need to do to get started down the path to blog and website optimization!
So… What is SEO? SEO stands for search engine optimization, and before you start worrying that this sounds like something only a tech-genius can manage, let me break it down!
Search Engine Optimization just means that you’re producing content with the purpose of increasing traffic to your website through Google search results, and allowing Google to know when to show your website in search results.
If you haven’t tried this method of content marketing yet, it can definitely be overwhelming to get started, which is why we’ve outlined a few important factors below to help you get started.
Keywords are Key (Kind of)
When thinking about SEO, the first thing that often comes to mind is keywords. Keywords are what your audience is typing into the search bar when you want your website to show up in the search results.
A common misconception about keywords is that you need to cram as many keywords as possible into your blog, or worse yet into just the first paragraph of your blog (talk about a good way to lose readers!). Google and other search engines actually now recognize this “keyword stuffing,” and have stopped prioritizing blogs that do this because it severely decreases the readability of your post.
Rather than trying to fit as many keywords as possible into your blog post, it’s best to focus on one or two long-tail keywords that are directly related to the topic of your blog. This will not only drastically improve your readability score, it’ll also make your blog post more intentional in answering your readers’ questions.
Also, people who are searching these long-tail keywords are much more likely to actually read and use the information in your post, meaning that this will help you drive more qualified traffic to your website.
While it’s beneficial to use these keywords throughout the body of your blog, it is absolutely essential to include them in the blog title tag, URL, meta description, and section headers. Blogging helps your website’s SEO ranking, but only when optimization is done correctly.
Focus on the Things That Can’t be Seen
So, you’ve written a great blog post that has a few long-tail keywords throughout, and you’re feeling great about uploading this piece of content to your site, great! Now, to ensure this content doesn’t go to waste and actually does drive traffic to your website like you’re hoping, this next step is absolutely critical, yet oftentimes overlooked.
Before posting your blog, your website hosting platform will give you the option to create the URL, add an image and alt-text for that image, and create a meta description. Now is the time to really hone in on those keywords you researched and used.
When creating your URL, it’s best to include the title of your blog, which should include your main keyword(s). If your blog title is a little bit longer, then consider just using optimized keywords as your URL.
For example, if your blog is titled, “Six Ways That New Moms can Safely get Back to Their Exercise Routine Postpartum,” you may consider just making your URL “/safe-postpartum-exercise-routines” in order to keep it short, optimized, and easy for search engines to analyze and rank.
Often people will just use the first paragraph of their blog post as the meta description, and while this is better than nothing, there’s an even better way to do it. This 300 character description is (usually) the preview text that will show below your URL when it is listed on a search results page, so you want to make sure it clearly gets the main points of your blog across and entices people to click and read more. In addition to being reader-friendly, it should include your main keyword(s).
It’s beneficial for your blog to include at least one image, even if it’s just a cover image for the blog preview on your website. However, search engines can’t see images the way we can, and some people who use screen readers or are hard-of-seeing need the images to be more accessible.
A great way to do this while helping Google and other search engines know what the image is, is to include alt text. Alt text is basically an image description. So, let’s say you wrote a blog about at-home yoga routines for women, and used a photo of a woman doing yoga in her home with a beautiful sunset in the background. Your alt text could be something like, “woman doing yoga routine at home.” It’s best to keep it short, accurately describe the image, and use a few keywords.
Even though these elements are directly part of the blog you wrote, they are what help search engines categorize and rank your blog, meaning that they directly impact if and where your website will be ranked in search results.
Variety is the Spice of… Your Blog
While it is important to stick to your field of expertise and share content that is relevant, it’s also important to add some variety in your titles, tags, and content posted. Not only does adding variety make it easy for readers to save your website and use it as a resource, it also helps show search engines that you aren’t posting duplicate content just to rank higher (something that will in fact have the opposite effect).
When you upload your blog, you’ll also have the option to add tags that help categorize your post. It’s important to make sure that you’re not using tags that are too similar to one another, as this can lead to search engines “thinking” that you’ve posted the same exact content in multiple places throughout your website, which will lower your search result ranking. For example, don’t use the tags, “blog,” “blogging,” and “blog post,” just pick one and use that.
Consistency IS Necessary
Blogging is a great content marketing practice, however, just like anything else, consistency is very important. Publishing evergreen content consistently will help ensure that the information in your posts is always relevant, it will help you rank over time rather than just in the near future, and ultimately it will help increase web traffic and leads for a longer period of time.
In other words, don’t use a blog post to write about an event or class happening tomorrow. Rather, consider publishing a post about the topic of the class and simply mentioning tomorrow’s class at the bottom of the blog post.
For example, if you’re a kickboxing studio wanting to share information about tomorrow’s “Fundamentals of Kickboxing” class, you could write a blog post breaking down a few of the fundamentals of kickboxing, and then at the end of the blog invite readers to join you in class tomorrow. All content you publish should be evergreen, so keep that in mind when writing and planning your posts.
Along with writing new content, it’s also important to update old blog posts with new information to ensure they’re remaining evergreen and relevant. Since this content has already been published on your page, it’s easier for search engines to “bump” it higher in search results rather than analyzing a brand new piece of content.
So, going back through old blog posts to remove outdated information, update keywords and tags, and optimize posts that may not already be optimized, is also a great practice that will help you rank higher in search results and drive more qualified traffic to your site.
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